company - education - coffee

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A Normal work week in coffee

The new Rwanda SOS espresso from Terroir came in today. I'll evaluate it (early impressions are grapeish flavors but my mouth was dead from working with the Southern that same morning) and Simon has a bag of Northern to play with. We were holding out for our coffee shipment for quite a while as we waited for the retail bags. While we waited I pulled shots of Guatemala La Providencia. Floral in a nice way. A few tastes revealed the floral could be associated an effervescent or menthol feeling on the palate. If balanced well it had a very pleasant mouth watering effect. It was surpirsingly better than I expected. I wasn't counting on the floral notes to jump out so much as this was a darker roast(for terroir) and it is a coffee we use for house meaning it's not supposed to be interesting. I pulled that and the India Elk hill from Terroir the last few days. The elk hill was boring in comparison to the shots of Kenya I was tasting earlier but had a nice butterscotch taste.

Southern Daterra seems to have reached a turning point for us. It needs to be pulled at a shorter volume(3/4oz per) and in the 24-26secs. To force the change to this shorter volume I adjusted the settings on the preprogrammed volume buttons. Now a double dispenses less water(exact volume escapes me). I noticed the shorter volume required a lot more grind attention early on to get used to it so I decided to force the issue for everyone else. The end result is a slightly compacted shot that gives a more traditional taste for the Daterra(excuse me for this comment). I was getting a dark bitter roasty aftertaste the last two weeks pulling it the same way we pulled it previously (28s 2oz double). The problem was that most shots were being served on the end of the 28-32s range and that leaves a bitter roast flavor. The adjustment of shortening the volume compacts the flavors to intensify that nut flavor and give an impression of sweetness in the mouthfeel(can you say creamy). The shorter extraction time just extracts less roast flavors. Simon commented how this extraction favors Northern flavors minus the high notes of citrus when it is pulled correctly. I wouldn't be inclined to agree.

On a side note, I think Simon has finally gotten around to hooking up somethng for a consistent guest from Ecco Caffe. Andrew gave us some workable options and everyone can look forward to more Ecco espresso at the shop consistently. I know everyone will be pleased as it got so much love from everyone who tried it.

We are working 5 grinders right now. 2 for Northern(a mazzer and san marco for direct comparison), Southern, Rwandan, and decaf.